Frozen Pipes: A Winter Water Damage Emergency
Low Temperatures can freeze pipes, make sure you are keeping an eye on your home during winter.
We can’t control the weather frigid winter temperatures are here in the Midwest, the lower temperatures cause a new set of seasonal Missouri property disasters including frozen pipes, ice dams and other frozen water damage concerns.
Every winter our SERVPRO of St. Louis Central professionals help countless homes with the restoration, cleanup and repair of their property following a frozen water property disaster.
Why is a Frozen Pipe a Concern?
- When water begins to freeze, it expands. This can cause both plastic and metal pipes to burst, possibly leading to significant water damage to your home or business.
- Since water expands when it freezes, it puts unwanted pressure on pipes.
- As water freezes, the force exerted from the expansion can cause a pipe to burst, regardless of the strength of the material.
- You may not know you have a burst pipe as the water has turned to ice. Once the temperature starts to warm and thawing begins, leaking and flooding can occur.
FROZEN PIPE WATER DAMAGE TREATMENT AND RESTORATION
The key to avoiding costly secondary damage is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property with proper mitigation. Our SERVPRO of St. Louis Central team has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. We begin removing the standing water from your property with extraction methods, and rapidly dry your structure and contents with dehumidifiers that lower the indoor humidity levels, so your building dries out quickly. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of St. Louis Central professionals will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.
FROZEN PIPE PREVENTION
Short- and Long-term solutions for low temperature plumbing problems include:
- Locate and seal cracks and openings in the walls, attic, basement or crawlspace.
- Weather strip and caulk around crawlspace doors and basement windows.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. Pay special attention to areas where pipes are located.
- Insulate unprotected pipes and don't leave gaps. Pipe sleeves simplify the process. Keep the pieces tight against each other and seal the slits and joints with duct tape.
- Install storm windows over basement windows or replace the old windows with energy-efficient alternatives.
- Find your main water shutoff so you can turn off the water quickly if needed. Locations vary — look in the crawlspace or basement where the water supply enters the house, inside a water meter box directly outside the house or near the water heater.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm air flow around the supply lines. Move any cleaners or other chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Keep your thermostat at the daytime setting during the night. If you'll be away for several days during subfreezing weather, keep it set above 55° F.
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all we have! Enjoy the holidays!
Studies show that cooking is the main cause for most home fires and burn related injuries. With Thanksgiving being the busiest cooking day of the year. It's good to know some safety tips to have a safe, and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
- Never leave food that is cooking unattended, especially when frying or broiling food. The stove should be turned off if you must leave the kitchen
- Keep anything that could easily catch fire a safe distance away from flames, or hot surfaces. Examples such as; potholders,towels of any material, paper or plastic bags, and wooden utensils.
- Cooking surfaces should be kept clean to prevent grease buildup.
- Always make sure to check the kitchen before leaving the home or going to bed. Check to see that all ovens, stoves and appliances are shut off and stored correctly.
- Have a fire extinguisher near by, and know how to properly use it if needed. Also smoke alarms should be checked monthly to see if properly functioning.
SERVPRO of SERVPRO St. Louis Central wishes you a safe and happy holiday season! Gobble Gobble!
Fire Safety During Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is the busiest holiday of the year, make sure you stay safe during this busy time!
Did you know that Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for fire departments when it comes to home fires involving cooking equipment? With more home cooks cooking larger meals than they are probably used to, the number of home fires involving cooking equipment spikes to nearly 4 times the daily average on Thanksgiving! Whether you plan to be in charge of the kitchen or are just helping out, be sure to follow these important safety tips when preparing this year's Thanksgiving feast!
- Start your Thanksgiving with a clean stove and oven! The weekend before Thanksgiving, remove any food or grease buildup from burners, stovetops, and the oven.
- Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. While items in the oven may not require as attentive an eye, food on the stovetop should have constant monitoring in case of spillage or splatter.
- Stay in the home while cooking the turkey. You don't need to set up camp and keep a constant eye on the turkey once it's in the oven, but you should stay inside and check on it frequently. The last thing you want is a burnt turkey that sets your kitchen on fire!
- Keep a flame-resistant oven mitt, potholder, or lid near your cooking space so that you can smother any flames before they get out of control.
- Should an oven fire occur, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. This should allow the fire to burn out on its own. Once the fire has gone out, open your windows before carefully opening the oven door to release the smoke.
- Make sure your home has working smoke alarms and that your family knows the fire escape route in the event of a fire. Remember to always plan TWO WAYS OUT of every room.
- Avoid using turkey fryers, but if you must, make sure to follow the fryer's instructions. Also be sure to completely thaw the turkey before frying and always fry outside at a safe distance from the home.
Stay safe this holiday season! Should your home experience any fire damage, be sure to call SERVPRO of St. Louis Central to make that fire "like it never happened."
Ways to Avoid A Fire
A recent fire that caused significant damage to a St. Louis home.
Unfortunately fires can happen.. We hope you never have to experience a fire, incase you do here are some ways to avoid a fire.
Fires devastate homes and businesses and cause damage in numerous ways. Not only is fire destructive, but it also leaves behind lingering and pervasive odors.. Also not to mention extensive water damage that results from the firefighter’s efforts to extinguish the flames. The professionals at SERVPRO of St. Louis Central have the specialized training, equipment and experience that will restore your home or place of work back to the way it looked before or even better!
To increase the odds that you’ll stay safe, consider these Top 10 causes of fire. This information will help you plan how to make your home or business a safer place to be at!
- Cooking: Avoid splattering grease, never leave kitchens unattended and keep flammable materials away from heat sources.
- Heating Equipment: Have your furnace checked regularly and keep portable heaters away from combustibles.
- Smoking: If you smoke in or near the house, always make sure the cigarette butt is fully put out and make the bedroom off-limits to smoking.
- Electricity: Look out for frayed cords, the overuse of extension cords and overloaded outlets, and don’t run electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture.
- Candles: Never leave them unattended and keep them out of the reach of children or pets.
- Children: Keep them away from matches and lighters to suppress any curiosity they may have about what happens when different items burn.
- Inadequate wiring: It’s often found in older homes and apartments. Have a professional electrician check yours.
- Flammable Liquids: Keep fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, and paints away from heat sources.
- Holiday Decor: Keep your Christmas tree well-watered and away from heat sources. Check decorative lights for damage and never place candles on or near Christmas trees.
- Grills: Keep them away from your home, deck rails, tablecloths and tree limbs. And never use them indoors, including your garage.
SERVPRO of St. Louis Central has the knowledge, professional equipment and ability to eliminate all traces of a fire. Besides the easily accessible areas, we also examine wall cavities, duct work, crawl spaces and plumbing chases to establish whether they also suffered any smoke or fire damage. We will make sure that all fire damage is cleaned, repaired, or removed and leave your home or business as if it never even happened. Because that is the SERVPRO way!
How Does Mold Spread?
When water is introduced the colony can grow quickly.
Let's face it.. Mold can happen anywhere, even in your St. Louis, MO home! Much like a cold virus spreads through the air looking for a host, mold spores travel through the air looking for the next hospitable environment to latch onto.. Crazy right? Any damp, fibrous material is a prime breeding ground for mold.
What Causes Mold To Spread?
As mold grows, it releases spores. These spores travel easily through the air, especially when disturbed. When performing cleanup of mold, it is important to minimize spreading mold spores by taking some precautions:
- Turn off all fans
- Protect from breezes
- Lower humidity
- Isolate the area
- Isolate moldy objects
Is It Mold?
Mold can grow on any fibrous material when enough moisture is present. This includes carpets, furniture and drywall. Did you know there are at least 35 species of mold, ranging in color, texture and size. If you have any type of water damage or humidity and see something new covering an area, you should suspect mold. Even if you cannot see mold, a musky odor may indicate that mold is present but out of sight. Mold multiplies very quickly! A Very small spot can turn into a large area of mold. If the spores become airborne, you will soon see the same pattern in another area. Once you suspect mold, you should immediately isolate the area and begin cleanup efforts.
How Can Moldy Areas Be Cleaned?
If your moldy area is small, you can attempt to clean it yourself, but be very careful to avoid spreading or breathing in mold spores. If your area is larger, or have black mold we recommend you a specialist to help you out. Specialists are specifically trained to clean mold without spreading spores. They also have specialized protective gear that you may not have access to, such as masks and protective suits.
If you suspect you have mold or spreading mold, you need to hire mold remediation expert to resolve the problem and restore your property to its original condition.
If you have anymore questions don't hesitate to ask SERVPRO of St. Louis Central today!
October means Halloween
Make sure to follow these safety rules for Halloween.
Halloween is for costumes, candy and fun! No one wants their fun to be spoiled by a fire! SERVPRO of St. Louis Central wants everyone to have a fun and safe time this Halloween! We have a list of safety tips below provided by the National Fire Prevention Association.
- Candles - Refrain from having an open flame. Use battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in your jack-o-lanterns.
- Costumes - Choose the right costume. Stay away from long or flowing fabric, and skip extraneous costume pieces.
- Decorations - Avoid flammable decorations including dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper that are highly flammable. Keep decorations away from open flames and other heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- Exits - Remember to keep all decorations away from doors so that they are not blocking any exits or escape routes.
- Smoke alarms - Make sure all your smoke alarms are working and up to date.
- Visibility - Provide flashlights to children or have them carry glow sticks as part of their costumes. Make sure if a child is wearing a mask that the eye holes are large enough to see out of them.
SERVPRO of St. Louis Central wishes everyone a fun and safe Halloween!
Where smoke alarms are Installed!
Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
- People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan!
Fire Escape Plan
Have a Fire Escape Plan
Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Make sure to install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, level and outside each separate sleeping area. Bring everyone in your household together and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.
Consider drawing a floor plan of your home if you have children. This will help them visually see the exits. Make sure to mark two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
Escape planning tips:
- Check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
- Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
- Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
- Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
- Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.
Fires are dangerous and we want to make sure you and your family are prepared!
Person charging phone
Be Safe When Charing Electronic Devices
Technology is such an important part of our lives today. We often make it a priority to keep them as close to us as possible, and also to ensure that they are charged and ready to use for the day. Because of our need to stay connected, we often forget about the potential dangers of keeping them so close to us, especially at night when we typically plug them in to charge.
Things to keep in mind when charging you phone or tablet:
1. Electronic devices should not be charged on flammable surfaces. So, don't tuck your phone under your pillow, on your bed, or on your couch while it is charging.
2. Use the charger and cord that is specific to your device.
3. Ensure that the charging cord does not have any exposed wires and is working properly.
4. If possible, charge your device during the day and turn it off at night.
Keep yourself and loved ones safe by following these fire-safe phone charging practices!
Accidents do happen, so if you ever need assistance with home restorations after a fire make sure to contact SERVPRO St. Louis Central today!
National Back To School Month
Hot temperatures outside and high humidity inside is a disaster waiting to happen for schools.
Call us today!
Ready or not, it's August and it is time for the school bells to be ringing again! It's time to dust off those backpacks, fill them up with supplies and plan for a new school year!
Excitement is an understatement, but sometimes there can be some dampers throughout the school year. A busted pipe or leaky HVAC can put a damper on the school year.
During those hot summer days, school are left untouched and HVAC systems are usually turned off to reduce the costs! Humidity can be another problem causing mold buildup too.
For precautionary measures throughout the summer months make sure all systems are left on, because the risk may outweigh the reward!
Get ready to learn, because school is here!